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Douglas G. Hill Memorial Lecture Presented by Prof. Donna Blackmond: "Physical and Chemical Models for the Emergence of Biological Homochirality"

Professor Donna Blackmond
Friday, April 14, 2023
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Prof. Donna Blackmond (The Scripps Research Institute)

"Physical and Chemical Models for the Emergence of Biological Homochirality"

Abstract: The single chirality of the amino acids and sugars that make up the building blocks of life has fascinated scientists and laymen alike since Pasteur's first painstaking separation of the enantiomorphic crystals of a tartrate salt over 150 years ago. In the past several decades, a number of theoretical and experimental investigations have helped to delineate models for how one enantiomer might have come to dominate over the other from what presumably was a racemic prebiotic world. Our work has highlighted mechanisms that include either chemical or physical processes, or a combination of both. While much of the scientific driving force for this work arises from an interest in understanding the origin of life, research focusing on mechanisms for the enantioenrichment of chiral molecules has the potential to impact a wide range of applications, most notably in the synthesis and formulation of pharmaceuticals.

The Department of Chemistry is excited to host Professor Donna Blackmond (The Scripps Research Institute) for the annual Douglas G. Hill Memorial Lecture. To learn more about The Blackmond's lab work in kinetic methodology, nonlinear effects of catalyst enantiopurity, and biological homochirality and amino acid phase behavior, please visit their research page:

Hosted by the Graduate Chemistry Council